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Posted: 12/15/2005 6:50:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2005 6:52:14 PM EDT by jkstexas2001]
I remember saying this, and some folks said that they don't do it. I guess you were wrong.

http://nytimes.com/2005/12/15/politics/15cnd-program.html?ei=5094&en=0a4739ca3ab6d63b&hp=&ex=1134709200&partner=homepage&pagewanted=print

Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say
By JAMES RISEN
and ERIC LICHTBLAU

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 ­- Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.

The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval represents a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad. As a result, some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches.

"This is really a sea change," said a former senior official who specializes in national security law. "It's almost a mainstay of this country that the N.S.A. only does foreign searches."

Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation's legality and oversight.

According to those officials and others, reservations about aspects of the program have also been expressed by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a judge presiding over a secret court that oversees intelligence matters. Some of the questions about the agency's new powers led the administration to temporarily suspend the operation last year and impose more restrictions, the officials said.

The Bush administration views the operation as necessary so that the agency can move quickly to monitor communications that may disclose threats to this country, the officials said. Defenders of the program say it has been a critical tool in helping disrupt terrorist plots and prevent attacks inside the United States.

Administration officials are confident that existing safeguards are sufficient to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans, the officials say. In some cases, they said, the Justice Department eventually seeks warrants if it wants to expand the eavesdropping to include communications confined within the United States. The officials said the administration had briefed Congressional leaders about the program and notified the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret Washington court that deals with national security issues.

The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.

While many details about the program remain secret, officials familiar with it said the N.S.A. eavesdropped without warrants on up to 500 people in the United States at any given time. The list changes as some names are added and others dropped, so the number monitored in this country may have reached into the thousands over the past three years, several officials said. Overseas, about 5,000 to 7,000 people suspected of terrorist ties are monitored at one time, according to those officials.

Several officials said the eavesdropping program had helped uncover a plot by Iyman Faris, an Ohio trucker and naturalized citizen who pleaded guilty in 2003 to supporting Al Qaeda by planning to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with blowtorches. What appeared to be another Qaeda plot, involving fertilizer bomb attacks on British pubs and train stations, was exposed last year in part through the program, the officials said. But they said most people targeted for N.S.A. monitoring have never been charged with a crime, including an Iranian-American doctor in the South who came under suspicion because of what one official described as dubious ties to Osama bin Laden.

Dealing With a New Threat

The eavesdropping program grew out of concerns after the Sept. 11 attacks that the nation's intelligence agencies were not poised to deal effectively with the new threat of Al Qaeda and that they were handcuffed by legal and bureaucratic restrictions better suited to peacetime than war, according to officials. In response, President Bush significantly eased limits on American intelligence and law enforcement agencies and the military.

But some of the administration's antiterrorism initiatives have provoked an outcry from members of Congress, watchdog groups, immigrants and others who argue that the measures erode protections for civil liberties and intrude on Americans' privacy. Opponents have challenged provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the focus of contentious debate on Capitol Hill this week, that expand domestic surveillance by giving the Federal Bureau of Investigation more power to collect information like library lending lists or Internet use. Military and F.B.I. officials have drawn criticism for monitoring what were largely peaceful antiwar protests. The Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security were forced to retreat on plans to use public and private databases to hunt for possible terrorists. And last year, the Supreme Court rejected the administration's claim that those labeled "enemy combatants" were not entitled to judicial review of their open-ended detention.

Mr. Bush's executive order allowing some warrantless eavesdropping on those inside the United States ­ including American citizens, permanent legal residents, tourists and other foreigners ­ is based on classified legal opinions that assert that the president has broad powers to order such searches, derived in part from the September 2001 Congressional resolution authorizing him to wage war on Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, according to the officials familiar with the N.S.A. operation.

The National Security Agency, which is based at Fort Meade, Md., is the nation's largest and most secretive intelligence agency, so intent on remaining out of public view that it has long been nicknamed "No Such Agency.'' It breaks codes and maintains listening posts around the world to eavesdrop on foreign governments, diplomats and trade negotiators as well as drug lords and terrorists. But the agency ordinarily operates under tight restrictions on any spying on Americans, even if they are overseas, or disseminating information about them.

What the agency calls a "special collection program" began soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, as it looked for new tools to attack terrorism. The program accelerated in early 2002 after the Central Intelligence Agency started capturing top Qaeda operatives overseas, including Abu Zubaydah, who was arrested in Pakistan in March 2002. The C.I.A. seized the terrorists' computers, cellphones and personal phone directories, said the officials familiar with the program. The N.S.A. surveillance was intended to exploit those numbers and addresses as quickly as possible, the officials said.

In addition to eavesdropping on those numbers and reading e-mail messages to and from the Qaeda figures, the N.S.A. began monitoring others linked to them, creating an expanding chain. While most of the numbers and addresses were overseas, hundreds were in the United States, the officials said.

Under the agency's longstanding rules, the N.S.A. can target for interception phone calls or e-mail messages on foreign soil, even if the recipients of those communications are in the United States. Usually, though, the government can only target phones and e-mail messages in this country by first obtaining a court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which holds its closed sessions at the Justice Department.

Traditionally, the F.B.I., not the N.S.A., seeks such warrants and conducts most domestic eavesdropping. Until the new program began, the N.S.A. typically limited its domestic surveillance to foreign embassies and missions in Washington, New York and other cities, and obtained court orders to do so.

Since 2002, the agency has been conducting some warrantless eavesdropping on people in the United States who are linked, even if indirectly, to suspected terrorists through the chain of phone numbers and e-mail addresses, according to several officials who know of the operation. Under the special program, the agency monitors their international communications, the officials said. The agency, for example, can target phone calls from someone in New York to someone in Afghanistan.

Warrants are still required for eavesdropping on entirely domestic-to-domestic communications, those officials say, meaning that calls from that New Yorker to someone in California could not be monitored without first going to the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court.

A White House Briefing

After the special program started, Congressional leaders from both political parties were brought to Vice President Dick Cheney's office in the White House. The leaders, who included the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House intelligence committees, learned of the N.S.A. operation from Mr. Cheney, Gen. Michael V. Hayden of the Air Force, who was then the agency's director and is now the principal deputy director of national intelligence, and George J. Tenet, then the director of the C.I.A., officials said.

It is not clear how much the members of Congress were told about the presidential order and the eavesdropping program. Some of them declined to comment about the matter, while others did not return phone calls.

Later briefings were held for members of Congress as they assumed leadership roles on the intelligence committees, officials familiar with the program said. After a 2003 briefing, Senator Rockefeller, the West Virginia Democrat who became vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee that year, wrote a letter to Mr. Cheney expressing concerns about the program, officials knowledgeable about the letter said. It could not be determined if he received a reply. Mr. Rockefeller declined to comment. Aside from the Congressional leaders, only a small group of people, including several cabinet members and officials at the N.S.A., the C.I.A. and the Justice Department, know of the program.

Some officials familiar with it say they consider warrantless eavesdropping inside the United States to be unlawful and possibly unconstitutional, amounting to an improper search. One government official involved in the operation said he privately complained to a Congressional official about his doubts about the legality of the program. But nothing came of his inquiry. "People just looked the other way because they didn't want to know what was going on," he said.

A senior government official recalled that he was taken aback when he first learned of the operation. "My first reaction was, ‘We're doing what?' " he said. While he said he eventually felt that adequate safeguards were put in place, he added that questions about the program's legitimacy were understandable.

Some of those who object to the operation argue that is unnecessary. By getting warrants through the foreign intelligence court, the N.S.A. and F.B.I. could eavesdrop on people inside the United States who might be tied to terrorist groups without skirting longstanding rules, they say.

The standard of proof required to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is generally considered lower than that required for a criminal warrant ­ intelligence officials only have to show probable cause that someone may be "an agent of a foreign power," which includes international terrorist groups ­ and the secret court has turned down only a small number of requests over the years. In 2004, according to the Justice Department, 1,754 warrants were approved. And the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court can grant emergency approval for wiretaps within hours, officials say.

Administration officials counter that they sometimes need to move more urgently, the officials said. Those involved in the program also said that the N.S.A.'s eavesdroppers might need to start monitoring large batches of numbers all at once, and that it would be impractical to seek permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court first, according to the officials.

Culture of Caution and Rules

The N.S.A. domestic spying operation has stirred such controversy among some national security officials in part because of the agency's cautious culture and longstanding rules.

Widespread abuses ­ including eavesdropping on Vietnam War protesters and civil rights activists ­ by American intelligence agencies became public in the 1970's and led to passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which imposed strict limits on intelligence gathering on American soil. Among other things, the law required search warrants, approved by the secret F.I.S.A. court, for wiretaps in national security cases. The agency, deeply scarred by the scandals, adopted additional rules that all but ended domestic spying on its part.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, though, the United States intelligence community was criticized for being too risk-averse. The National Security Agency was even cited by the independent 9/11 Commission for adhering to self-imposed rules that were stricter than those set by federal law.

Several senior government officials say that when the special operation first began, there were few controls on it and little formal oversight outside the N.S.A. The agency can choose its eavesdropping targets and does not have to seek approval from Justice Department or other Bush administration officials. Some agency officials wanted nothing to do with the program, apparently fearful of participating in an illegal operation, a former senior Bush administration official said. Before the 2004 election, the official said, some N.S.A. personnel worried that the program might come under scrutiny by Congressional or criminal investigators if Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, was elected president.

In mid-2004, concerns about the program expressed by national security officials, government lawyers and a judge prompted the Bush administration to suspend elements of the program and revamp it.

For the first time, the Justice Department audited the N.S.A. program, several officials said. And to provide more guidance, the Justice Department and the agency expanded and refined a checklist to follow in deciding whether probable cause existed to start monitoring someone's communications, several officials said.

A complaint from Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the federal judge who oversees the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court, helped spur the suspension, officials said. The judge questioned whether information obtained under the N.S.A. program was being improperly used as the basis for F.I.S.A. wiretap warrant requests from the Justice Department, according to senior government officials. While not knowing all the details of the exchange, several government lawyers said there appeared to be concerns that the Justice Department, by trying to shield the existence of the N.S.A. program, was in danger of misleading the court about the origins of the information cited to justify the warrants.

One official familiar with the episode said the judge insisted to Justice Department lawyers at one point that any material gathered under the special N.S.A. program not be used in seeking wiretap warrants from her court. Judge Kollar-Kotelly did not return calls for comment.

A related issue arose in a case in which the F.B.I. was monitoring the communications of a terrorist suspect under a F.I.S.A.-approved warrant, even though the National Security Agency was already conducting warrantless eavesdropping. According to officials, F.B.I. surveillance of Mr. Faris, the Brooklyn Bridge plotter, was dropped for a short time because of technical problems. At the time, senior Justice Department officials worried what would happen if the N.S.A. picked up information that needed to be presented in court. The government would then either have to disclose the N.S.A. program or mislead a criminal court about how it had gotten the information.

The Civil Liberties Question

Several national security officials say the powers granted the N.S.A. by President Bush go far beyond the expanded counterterrorism powers granted by Congress under the USA Patriot Act, which is up for renewal. The House on Wednesday approved a plan to reauthorize crucial parts of the law. But final passage has been delayed under the threat of a Senate filibuster because of concerns from both parties over possible intrusions on Americans' civil liberties and privacy.

Under the act, law enforcement and intelligence officials are still required to seek a F.I.S.A. warrant every time they want to eavesdrop within the United States. A recent agreement reached by Republican leaders and the Bush administration would modify the standard for F.B.I. wiretap warrants, requiring, for instance, a description of a specific target. Critics say the bar would remain too low to prevent abuses.

Bush administration officials argue that the civil liberties concerns are unfounded, and they say pointedly that the Patriot Act has not freed the N.S.A. to target Americans. "Nothing could be further from the truth," wrote John Yoo, a former official in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, and his co-author in a Wall Street Journal opinion article in December 2003. Mr. Yoo worked on a classified legal opinion on the N.S.A.'s domestic eavesdropping program.

At an April hearing on the Patriot Act renewal, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, asked Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the F.B.I., "Can the National Security Agency, the great electronic snooper, spy on the American people?"

"Generally," Mr. Mueller said, "I would say generally, they are not allowed to spy or to gather information on American citizens." President Bush did not ask Congress to include provisions for the N.S.A. domestic surveillance program as part of the Patriot Act and has not sought any other laws to authorize the operation. Bush administration lawyers argued that such new laws were unnecessary, because they believed that the Congressional resolution on the campaign against terrorism provided ample authorization, officials said.

Seeking Congressional approval was also viewed as politically risky because the proposal would be certain to face intense opposition on civil liberties grounds. The administration also feared that by publicly disclosing the existence of the operation, its usefulness in tracking terrorists would end, officials said.

The legal opinions that support the N.S.A. operation remain classified, but they appear to have followed private discussions among senior administration lawyers and other officials about the need to pursue aggressive strategies that once may have been seen as crossing a legal line, according to senior officials who participated in the discussions.

For example, just days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon, Mr. Yoo, the Justice Department lawyer, wrote an internal memorandum that argued that the government might use "electronic surveillance techniques and equipment that are more powerful and sophisticated than those available to law enforcement agencies in order to intercept telephonic communications and observe the movement of persons but without obtaining warrants for such uses."

Mr. Yoo noted that while such actions could raise constitutional issues, in the face of devastating terrorist attacks "the government may be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties."

The next year, Justice Department lawyers disclosed their thinking on the issue of warrantless wiretaps in national security cases in a little-noticed brief in an unrelated court case. In that 2002 brief, the government said that "the Constitution vests in the President inherent authority to conduct warrantless intelligence surveillance (electronic or otherwise) of foreign powers or their agents, and Congress cannot by statute extinguish that constitutional authority."

Administration officials were also encouraged by a November 2002 appeals court decision in an unrelated matter. The decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, which sided with the administration in dismantling a bureaucratic "wall" limiting cooperation between prosecutors and intelligence officers, noted "the president's inherent constitutional authority to conduct warrantless foreign intelligence surveillance."

But the same court suggested that national security interests should not be grounds "to jettison the Fourth Amendment requirements" protecting the rights of Americans against undue searches. The dividing line, the court acknowledged, "is a very difficult one to administer
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 6:51:58 PM EDT
Orwell was a freaking visionary.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 7:00:33 PM EDT
Nice

Mr. Yoo noted that while such actions could raise constitutional issues, in the face of devastating terrorist attacks "the government may be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties."

Link Posted: 12/15/2005 7:10:14 PM EDT
What else is new? They were doing it in 1967, and quite extensively, that I know of.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 7:28:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By www-glock19-com:
Nice

Mr. Yoo noted that while such actions could raise constitutional issues, in the face of devastating terrorist attacks "the government may be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties."




*Sigh*
Someone tell me when I can have my country back.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 7:49:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001: Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.
Whoa! Bush is making the NSA act like a real spy agency. Heck yeah, smoke those terrorist sympathizers out.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 8:02:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2005 8:06:57 PM EDT by 82ndAbn]

Read the Conduct Code, please ~ 82ndAbn
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 8:16:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DLoken: At the expense of our civil rights? Fuck you.
Hey, maybe YOUR civil rights are in a pickle, but mine are doing just fine. Most of those anti-war pinheads are all whining and no action anyway. The NSA won't waste time on them, much less the "average" American. They'll catch the bad guys this way and turn them or kill them.

C'mon, you guys actually expect OUR spy agencies to not monitor individuals and groups inside our borders who are most likely to be/support our enemies because our civil liberties are at stake? What planet are you on?
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 8:23:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:

Originally Posted By DLoken: At the expense of our civil rights? Fuck you.
Hey, maybe YOUR civil rights are in a pickle, but mine are doing just fine. Most of those anti-war pinheads are all whining and no action anyway. The NSA won't waste time on them, much less the "average" American. They'll catch the bad guys this way and turn them or kill them.

C'mon, you guys actually expect OUR spy agencies to not monitor individuals and groups inside our borders who are most likely to be/support our enemies because our civil liberties are at stake? What planet are you on?



Just wait til the war on terror ends.
Eventually, someone will remember the war on gun owners, and we will be in their sights.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 8:38:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308: Just wait til the war on terror ends. Eventually, someone will remember the war on gun owners, and we will be in their sights.
Sounds like you better get more people to vote for pro-gun conservatives. The tool isn't the problem, it's the person holding the tool.

If our spy agencies did not search for enemies foreign and domestic, you'd feel ripped-off by the taxman. They have to find the enemies and collect evidence, so monitoring international calls/e-mails from/to the US should be pretty obvious.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 8:45:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:

Originally Posted By thedoctors308: Just wait til the war on terror ends. Eventually, someone will remember the war on gun owners, and we will be in their sights.
Sounds like you better get more people to vote for pro-gun conservatives. The tool isn't the problem, it's the person holding the tool.

If our spy agencies did not search for enemies foreign and domestic, you'd feel ripped-off by the taxman. They have to find the enemies and collect evidence, so monitoring international calls/e-mails from/to the US should be pretty obvious.



I mistrust anyone who weilds such a tool.


"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Daniel Webster
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 8:48:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By www-glock19-com:
Nice

Mr. Yoo noted that while such actions could raise constitutional issues, in the face of devastating terrorist attacks "the government may be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties."




NO

No constitutional issues on international communications they were never off limits you just monitor from off shore.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 8:54:44 PM EDT
It says the NSA is monitoring international communications. Domestic only with a warrant. That is exactly what I expect them to do Actually, I expect that they are monitoring all comunications and have been for at least a decade. Anyone who is surprised by this has not been paying attention.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 9:02:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BillofRights:
It says the NSA is monitoring international communications. Domestic only with a warrant. That is exactly what I expect them to do Actually, I expect that they are monitoring all comunications and have been for at least a decade. Anyone who is surprised by this has not been paying attention.


Some of you people are really amazing.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 9:39:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308: I mistrust anyone who weilds such a tool.
You sound like a gun-grabber. C'mon man, stop living in La La Land.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 9:49:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BillofRights:
It says the NSA is monitoring international communications. Domestic only with a warrant. That is exactly what I expect them to do Actually, I expect that they are monitoring all comunications and have been for at least a decade. Anyone who is surprised by this has not been paying attention.



Indeed, I thought it was well known the NSA associates with foreign intelligence agencies to "trade" information regarding eachother's "peasants".
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 10:18:07 PM EDT
The NSA and our other spy/LEO agencies are like AR-15's. They are used primarily for target practice, hunting, impressing neighbors, and other non-SHTF activities. But if the SHTF and the barbarians are torching your neighborhood, you know the AR-15 is going to be used to shoot through bodies, walls, furniture, vehicles, etc. The barbarians are here and what are we going to do? Keep the NSA locked for safekeeping in order to prevent "naughty use" by our "agents" or are we going to break out the extra mags?

Oppressed people around the world stay oppressed because they lacked the tools (or the spine) to fight back. The NSA is out looking for Haji, godspeed and good hunting to them!
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 10:34:01 PM EDT
I'm very big on the whole privacy thing but sometimes you just have to turn a blind eye.

If they are searching for hajis... go ahead. Better to keep an eye on what they are monitoring than have them pucker up and pretend it isnt happening.


- BG
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 10:36:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
The NSA and our other spy/LEO agencies are like AR-15's. They are used primarily for target practice, hunting, impressing neighbors, and other non-SHTF activities. But if the SHTF and the barbarians are torching your neighborhood, you know the AR-15 is going to be used to shoot through bodies, walls, furniture, vehicles, etc. The barbarians are here and what are we going to do? Keep the NSA locked for safekeeping in order to prevent "naughty use" by our "agents" or are we going to break out the extra mags?

Oppressed people around the world stay oppressed because they lacked the tools (or the spine) to fight back. The NSA is out looking for Haji, godspeed and good hunting to them!


+1 Couldn't have said it better
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 11:00:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BUCC_Guy:
I'm very big on the whole privacy thing but sometimes you just have to turn a blind eye.

If they are searching for hajis... go ahead. Better to keep an eye on what they are monitoring than have them pucker up and pretend it isnt happening.


- BG



I'd rather we just expel hajis right now. All of them.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:33:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Peak_Oil: I'd rather we just expel hajis right now. All of them.
I wish it was easy to just kick out all the muslims out of the USA in one shot and have them all re-apply to get back in, damn realpolitik! So we're going the James Bond route to see if we can use the technology we have to 'net some. The great thing is that the terrorists are using time, effort, and money to avoid detection. Now that NSA snooping w/in the US is public knowledge, they're going to have to re-check EVERYTHING/ONE all over again. I bet the CIA is going to announce that they are checking this or that even if they aren't checking, just to cause the terrorists some extra grief.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:39:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 6:56:19 AM EDT by The_Macallan]

Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said.

The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.


Politics. The media loves cutting our hamstrings by generating contrived controversies.



BTW... how long did the story about the hugely historic, peaceful and SUCCESSFUL elections in Iraq last in the media?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:53:47 AM EDT
The National Security Agency is the clearing house for all signal intelligence. All radio signals, satellite signals, and cell phone signals can be monitored by the NSA with out a warrant. All transmit on a radio signal. All US government agencies report their signal intelligence to the NSA. They spy on every one. There is nothing new here they always have.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:54:05 AM EDT
tag


Hopefully it'll still be here when I get back
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:59:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By markmars: All US government agencies report their signal intelligence to the NSA. They spy on every one. There is nothing new here they always have.
With all the we sling at each other here, I wouldn't be surprised if there full-time staffers at the NSA just to keep an eye on those uppity gun-nuts on arfcom!
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:06:03 AM EDT
I am always amazed at some of the people on this forum who profess to be "Americans" and believe in rights yet condone the government trampling those rights. This is the reason why this country is screwed.

Listening without warrants= police state.

Welcome to the finality of the police state.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:09:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dance:
I am always amazed at some of the people on this forum who profess to be "Americans" and believe in rights yet condone the government trampling those rights. This is the reason why this country is screwed.

Listening without warrants= police state.

Welcome to the finality of the police state.

Next thing you're gonna say is X-raying and/or inspecting mail packages and airline luggage bound for the Mideast and is a police state also.

Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:16:35 AM EDT
wonder what the constitution says about all of this, or the founding fathers.

I am ok, like in wwII with some things, as long as it has a time limit.

TXL
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:31:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

Originally Posted By Dance:
I am always amazed at some of the people on this forum who profess to be "Americans" and believe in rights yet condone the government trampling those rights. This is the reason why this country is screwed.

Listening without warrants= police state.

Welcome to the finality of the police state.



Next thing you're gonna say is X-raying and/or inspecting mail packages and airline luggage bound for the Mideast and is a police state also.




Nope, that's a different situation.

Police state= the government using wiretaps without enough probable cause to get a warrant on whoever they want, whenever they want.

Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:04:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 8:07:16 AM EDT by The_Macallan]
And now we see the REAL motive behind this "story":



NYT 'SPYING' SPLASH TIED TO BOOK RELEASE
Fri Dec 16 200 11:27:16 ET

**Exclusive**

Newspaper fails to inform readers "news break" is tied to book publication

On the front page of today's NEW YORK TIMES, national security reporter James Risen claims that "months after the September 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States... without the court approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials."

Risen claims the White House asked the paper not to publish the article, saying that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny.

Risen claims the TIMES delayed publication of the article for a year to conduct additional reporting.

But now comes word James Risen's article is only one of many "explosive newsbreaking" stories that can be found -- in his upcoming book!

The paper failed to reveal the urgent story was tied to a book release and sale.

"STATE OF WAR: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration" is to be published by FREE PRESS in the coming weeks, sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.


Carisa Hays, VP, Director of Publicity FREE PRESS, confirms the book is being published.

The book editor of Bush critic Richard Clarke [AGAINST ALL ENEMIES] signed Risen to FREE PRESS.

Developing....


This "story" released today was deliberately ENGINEERED and TIMED by a media "journalist" to be released EXACTLY when it could grease the skids for HIS BOOK... as well as smother the HUGE success in Iraq yesterday.

And you all immediately started Dancing to this story just like the media-fed puppets you are.

Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:12:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dance:

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

Originally Posted By Dance:
I am always amazed at some of the people on this forum who profess to be "Americans" and believe in rights yet condone the government trampling those rights. This is the reason why this country is screwed.

Listening without warrants= police state.

Welcome to the finality of the police state.

Next thing you're gonna say is X-raying and/or inspecting mail packages and airline luggage bound for the Mideast and is a police state also.


Nope, that's a different situation.

Police state= the government using wiretaps without enough probable cause to get a warrant on whoever they want, whenever they want.



You can yell "police state" all you want, that doesn't mean we are in one or anywhere NEAR living in one.

The fact that phone calls and emails to Pakistan or Saudi Arabia are monitered is not a "police state" - it's what I would EXPECT we would do to root out existing terrorist cells here.

My God man! Don't be so blinded by your irrational hyperparanoia of "Big Brother" that you cripple your own ability to FIND active terrorists living right among us!

Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:24:10 AM EDT
If indeed the Pres has authorized such action, shouldn't he be brought up on charges?

Oh, I forgot, suspending the CONSTITUTION for a short time to catch a few terrorists is okay. It will "only" happen a few times.

Move along, nothing to see here. Please return to your regularly scheduled pro football game.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:29:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glimmerman68:
If indeed the Pres has authorized such action, shouldn't he be brought up on charges?

Oh, I forgot, suspending the CONSTITUTION for a short time to catch a few terrorists is okay. It will "only" happen a few times.

Move along, nothing to see here. Please return to your regularly scheduled pro football game.



This has been going on since ole Woody Wilson and hte War Powers Act. What about Lincoln during the Civil War?

This news story, as already mentioned, is perfectly timed to coincide with a book release. Congress was well aware of these actions. I'm sure they will be raising lots of quetions now since they knew about it but want to make sure it "won't ever happen" again.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:30:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 8:32:51 AM EDT by NimmerMehr]

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By www-glock19-com:
Nice

Mr. Yoo noted that while such actions could raise constitutional issues, in the face of devastating terrorist attacks "the government may be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties."




*Sigh*
Someone tell me when I can have my country back.



If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Edit: Does not the US gov just ask the British gov to spy on US citizens. It is more legal and the Brits have spies here anyway (just like the US has spies there)?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:31:01 AM EDT
It doesn't worry me a bit. If they're listening to my conversations that means they are bored to tears. Listen away boys, might make you feel better about your lives.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:36:22 AM EDT
Meh, I have nothing to hide, and they have been monitoring everyone "psuedo-legally" for quite a while through Echelon anyway.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:37:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 8:42:27 AM EDT by ArmedAggie]

Originally Posted By Dance:

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

Originally Posted By Dance:
I am always amazed at some of the people on this forum who profess to be "Americans" and believe in rights yet condone the government trampling those rights. This is the reason why this country is screwed.

Listening without warrants= police state.

Welcome to the finality of the police state.



Next thing you're gonna say is X-raying and/or inspecting mail packages and airline luggage bound for the Mideast and is a police state also.




Nope, that's a different situation.

Police state= the government using wiretaps without enough probable cause to get a warrant on whoever they want, whenever they want.




ETA: With regard to wiretaps...

Warrants are often far too specific in nature ot be of any practical use in today's world. Shit happens a helluva lot faster today than it did in the '60s and certainly moreso than in the 18th century. A search warrant will allow you enough flexibility to get a good look at what it is you are about to miss because you are static in a dynamic situation.

I never understand people who think they are so important and so interesting and assume the gubment is abusing the system to spy on them. I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear unless they are dumb enough to catch me walking around the house with my pecker hanging out.

Well, hang is a bit strong. Perhaps poke is better.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:41:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KNYTE:
Meh, I have nothing to hide, and they have been monitoring everyone "psuedo-legally" for quite a while through Echelon anyway.



and CARNIVORE.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:44:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2005 8:45:04 AM EDT by glimmerman68]

Originally Posted By wgjhsafT:

Originally Posted By glimmerman68:
If indeed the Pres has authorized such action, shouldn't he be brought up on charges?

Oh, I forgot, suspending the CONSTITUTION for a short time to catch a few terrorists is okay. It will "only" happen a few times.

Move along, nothing to see here. Please return to your regularly scheduled pro football game.



This has been going on since ole Woody Wilson and hte War Powers Act. What about Lincoln during the Civil War?

This news story, as already mentioned, is perfectly timed to coincide with a book release. Congress was well aware of these actions. I'm sure they will be raising lots of quetions now since they knew about it but want to make sure it "won't ever happen" again.



I have no doubt it has been happening since the beginning of the US. The fact that it has been allowed to happen, and happen repeatedly, and allowed to continue is what bothers me. Reaffirms my belief that all politicians are crooks/criminals. Then again, we the PEOPLE allow it to happen and continue.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:49:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

You can yell "police state" all you want, that doesn't mean we are in one or anywhere NEAR living in one.

The fact that phone calls and emails to Pakistan or Saudi Arabia are monitered is not a "police state" - it's what I would EXPECT we would do to root out existing terrorist cells here.

My God man! Don't be so blinded by your irrational hyperparanoia of "Big Brother" that you cripple your own ability to FIND active terrorists living right among us!




How does it cripple their ability to find terrorists?

All this does is give them the ability to wiretap anyone in the country for any reason. It is mainly being used in the "war on drugs" and not for terrorism.

It's an erosion of rights of US citizens giving the government "powers".
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:53:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dance:

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

You can yell "police state" all you want, that doesn't mean we are in one or anywhere NEAR living in one.

The fact that phone calls and emails to Pakistan or Saudi Arabia are monitered is not a "police state" - it's what I would EXPECT we would do to root out existing terrorist cells here.

My God man! Don't be so blinded by your irrational hyperparanoia of "Big Brother" that you cripple your own ability to FIND active terrorists living right among us!

How does it cripple their ability to find terrorists?

All this does is give them the ability to wiretap anyone in the country for any reason. It is mainly being used in the "war on drugs" and not for terrorism.

It's an erosion of rights of US citizens giving the government "powers".

"anyone for any reason"!??? WTF???

Did you even READ the story???

"Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said.

The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications."

Link Posted: 12/16/2005 10:03:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmedAggie:

I never understand people who think they are so important and so interesting and assume the gubment is abusing the system to spy on them.



I don't assume it. I have seen it myself.


I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear unless they are dumb enough to catch me walking around the house with my pecker hanging out.

Well, hang is a bit strong. Perhaps poke is better.



Good for you. That doesn't make government spying on US citizens to be either a good idea or legal.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 10:20:52 AM EDT
Next the conspiracy theorists (the ones with Rockwell's song Somebody's Watching Me playing on continual loop on their iPod) will complain that the terrorists managed to evade the government. "Why didn't they just do what they had to do to stop this?" Funny how a lot of you feel like this affects you directly when it certainly does not. Yet you would have no problem with it if you knew 100% it was "ragheads" or "wetbacks". The feigned indignance at "abuse of good ol' Americans" is ridiculous. If the world, and Democracy, was as perfect as you all want it to be then this would never be an issue.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 3:26:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:
Just wait til the war on terror ends.


The WOT will never end. "We have always been at war with Eurasia..."
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 3:34:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dance:
Police state= the government using wiretaps without enough probable cause to get a warrant on whoever they want, whenever they want.



That is a pretty wussy definition of 'police state' that you are going with. The Combloc nations, now those were police states. Slightest hint of political disloyalty, and off you go! Frigging wiretaps, unless they are hooked to your testicles or being used to beat some information out of your kids, do not constitute a 'police state'.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:52:44 PM EDT
I wonder how many of those they were monitoring were actually citizens, or legally naturalized citizens? Probably few or none.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:56:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dance:
Listening without warrants= police state.
/quote]

You sure about that? People listen into their neighbor's baby monitors, wireless networks, police frequencies, commercial frequencies, etc. all the time, is that a "police state". Warrants have more to do with what can be used in court as evidence than what the government is "allowed" to do. If the NSA is sucking up and decrypting data of terrorists operating inside the USA, I say well-done.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 4:26:36 PM EDT
Man, you people never stop amazing me. Your all against losing the right to own a gun, but the right to have a conversation with someone privately is ok. So they admit to spying on calls to other countries. The means they are hiding something. I personally like the ability to tell me cousins in England, our allie that i dislike Bush.

But you guys are supporting this lose of your right. This is the same as liberals going for guns. Where will it stop. And dont tell me you beleive the politicians when they say they will stop, or that only certain calls are being watched.

I personnaly do not wish to lose my rights because of the possibility of a terrorist attack, that is going to happen, just depends on when and where.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 6:05:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
I wonder how many of those they were monitoring were actually citizens, or legally naturalized citizens? Probably few or none.

GunLvr



You would be completely wrong from what I personally saw.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 6:39:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bigedmond:
Man, you people never stop amazing me. Your all against losing the right to own a gun, but the right to have a conversation with someone privately is ok. So they admit to spying on calls to other countries. The means they are hiding something. I personally like the ability to tell me cousins in England, our allie that i dislike Bush.

But you guys are supporting this lose of your right. This is the same as liberals going for guns. Where will it stop. And dont tell me you beleive the politicians when they say they will stop, or that only certain calls are being watched.

I personnaly do not wish to lose my rights because of the possibility of a terrorist attack, that is going to happen, just depends on when and where.

If a US citizen calls a phone number of a known terrorist in Pakistan, I damn well would expect it to be monitored REGARDLESS of who is doing the calling.

They're not getting warrants because they don't know WHO the warrant would be for - instead they're wanting to monitor ALL communications going to a known/suspected terrorist.

The idea is to monitor all communications TO known terrorists in foreign countries - and that means you often have no idea who is actually placing the call, instead we're just monitoring WHATEVER calls go to Achmed Al-Taliban living in Pakistan at phone number 333-666-9999.

Link Posted: 12/17/2005 6:40:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

Originally Posted By Bigedmond:
Man, you people never stop amazing me. Your all against losing the right to own a gun, but the right to have a conversation with someone privately is ok. So they admit to spying on calls to other countries. The means they are hiding something. I personally like the ability to tell me cousins in England, our allie that i dislike Bush.

But you guys are supporting this lose of your right. This is the same as liberals going for guns. Where will it stop. And dont tell me you beleive the politicians when they say they will stop, or that only certain calls are being watched.

I personnaly do not wish to lose my rights because of the possibility of a terrorist attack, that is going to happen, just depends on when and where.

If a US citizen calls a phone number of a known terrorist in Pakistan, I damn well would expect it to be monitored REGARDLESS of who is doing the calling.

They're not getting warrants because they don't know WHO the warrant would be for - instead they're wanting to monitor ALL communications going to a known/suspected terrorist.

The idea is to monitor all communications TO known terrorists in foreign countries - and that means you often have no idea who is actually placing the call, instead we're just monitoring WHATEVER calls go to Achmed Al-Taliban living in Pakistan at phone number 333-666-9999.




They do far more than that.
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